Nitrogen dioxide emissions, produced mainly by vehicles and industrial activities, dropped by 54% in Paris and about 45% in Madrid, Milan and Rome during the lockdown, according to maps published by the European Space Agency in April.

Practical tips

After being parked for a long period, a few precautions should be taken before you take to the road again. Here is ViaMichelin’s advice so you can get back on the road safely.

Travel routes

Between Nice and Menton the mountains plunge sharply down to the sea. Running along these heights are three famous routes: the Grande Corniche, the Moyenne Corniche and the Basse Corniche. The first affords the most stunning views, climbing to 1,476ft/450m. The second offers beautiful vistas along the shore; while the third provides access to the coastal resorts.